A Port Lincoln company might be the solution to millions of tonnes of dead carp that could result from the release of a carp herpe virus under a federal plan to reduce the number of carp in the River Murray.
Liquid fertiliser company SAMPI, which produces a liquid fertiliser made from bluefin tuna and kingfish gills and internal organs, has trialed using carp waste to produce the fertiliser.
SAMPI used their method of adding enzymes to 10 tonnes of fish waste and gently heating the mixture to turn the waste into 10 tonnes of organic fertiliser with carp from the river, which manager Paul Smith said was a success.
He said the fertiliser made from carp was a slightly lighter colour compared to fertilisers made from bluefin tuna and kingfish remains, but would have the same nutrients as the other fertilisers.
“A fish is a fish,” Mr Smith said.
He said it would be used as a soil conditioner, and was mainly used in the Riverland on fruit and nut crops such as grapes, bananas and macadamias.
Mr Smith said the company was looking into ramping up its production and building a mobile plant to take to the River Murray if the virus was released.
“We’d have to work out the logistics to get it (the fertiliser) down here,” Mr Smith said.
Green Patch farmer Arnd Enneking, who farms sheep and crops, said he had used the product “on and off” throughout the years.
He said the fully organic product was suitable for his farm, which was transitioning from conventional to organic, and the fertiliser and soil conditioner was “a handy tool to have.”
“Fish fertilisers are good,” Mr Enneking said.
Mr Enneking said it was a “good all round” fertiliser, and he saw the use of the liquid as “more of a stimulant.”
“The better the soil is, the better it works, as it stimulates soil life,” Mr Enneking said.
The National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) is expected to be finalised at the end of 2018 and will then be provided to the Australian Government to decide whether or not to release the virus.